The loss of teeth with the passage of time is not only a problem when it comes to chewing, but also when it comes to speaking, swallowing, smiling and in general, it produces a decrease in self-esteem. Today we know that about 45% of the population is edentulous at the age of 75 years. (Misch, C. Contemporary implant dentistry. 1999.)
With this article, we want to show the aesthetic change that a complete prosthesis gives to a patient who has lost many teeth.
What happens when we lose our teeth?
The width and height of the alveolar bone, which supports the teeth, decreases. For this reason, the lips retract, 'pull inwards', and the chin and nose appear to 'grow'.
When this happens, what we do to solve it is to put a prosthesis with which we can support the lip, returning it to a natural position.
These prostheses can be worn in two ways:
- Placed on implants (implant-supported), which is very comfortable as the prosthesis does not move from its place, and simulates chewing as we have with natural teeth.
- Placed on the gum (mucosa-supported), which is more economical for the patient, but with the disadvantage of being somewhat more uncomfortable and the need to use denture adhesives to fix them.
So why should we use a dental prosthesis?
- It improves our appearance and therefore our self-esteem.
- It makes it easier to chew and swallow food.
- It allows us to speak better than without teeth.
- It improves the prognosis of the rest of our teeth, as the forces are better distributed.
Emilio Gil López
King Juan Carlos University
University of Murcia